Personalities of our network of routes: Pepe Blanco

Roadman and taxi driver in his beginnings, José Blanco Ruiz, better known as Pepe Blanco, has a street in Logroño, the place where he was born and where he is buried

There are songs that are linked to a city, and if we are talking about Madrid, one of them is the legendary Cocidito madrileña, performed by Pepe Blanco, who was born in Logroño.

It is back in fashion again because of a song from the latest album by the spanish famous singer C. Tangana -When I’ll forget-, in which he sings along with him thanks to technology. Although there are those who will say that José Blanco Ruiz, the great Pepe Blanco, has never gone out of fashion.

Because in 1911 one of the most iconic figures of 20th century Spanish copla was born in Logroño. José -Pepe- Blanco Ruiz, the one from the Rúa Vieja, worked as a child as a cartwright transporting gravel and sand on different building sites or wine from different towns to the capital of La Rioja; and as a taxi driver when he was a teenager. He even became the private chauffeur of the mayor of Logroño, his home town.

Before the outbreak of the Civil War, Pepe Blanco Ruiz was already known in Logroño as Marchenita, as he imitated the no less mythical Pepe Marchena. But it was a performance at the Circo Price in Madrid, in a national flamenco singing contest, that brought him national fame.

From then on, he formed an artistic partnership with Carmen Morell, and for two decades they achieved success after success while, at the same time, he began to record albums from 1946 and to participate in numerous films.

In total, Pepe Blanco recorded more than 150 songs, some of which are already part of the Spanish popular imagination -Cocidito madrileño, ¡Ay, mi sombrero!, El gitano señorito, El Tani, Madrid tiene seis letras, El farolero or Amor que viene cantando-.
In 1981, Pepe Blanco died in Madrid, but was buried in the family vault in Logroño -the city that dedicated a street to him a year earlier, in 1980- after a burial that was a demonstration of warmth and affection from the city where he was born.

SOURCE: El Independiente

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